U.S. State Dept. Blocks Christians from Testifying about Islamist Persecution

Middle East Forum Blog, by Raymond Ibrahim  •  Jul 27, 2015
Cross-posted from The Gatestone Institute

Excerpt from Raymond Ibrahim’s monthly roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world.

The State Department initially refused to give a visa to Sister Diana Momeka of Iraq when she planned a visit to Washington earlier this year to advocate on behalf of Iraqi Christians.

The State Department initially refused to give a visa to Sister Diana Momeka of Iraq when she planned a visit to Washington earlier this year to advocate on behalf of Iraqi Christians.

Sister Diana Momeka, an influential Iraqi Christian leader, who was scheduled to visit the U.S. to advocate for persecuted Christians in the Mideast, was denied a visa by the U.S. State Department even though she had visited the U.S. before, most recently in 2012.During the height of one of the most brutal months of Muslim persecution of Christians, the U.S. State Department exposed its double standards against persecuted Christian minorities.

She was to be one of a delegation of religious leaders from Iraq — including Sunni, Shia and Yazidi, among others — to visit Washington, D.C., to describe the situation of their people. Every religious leader from this delegation to Washington D.C. was granted a visa — except for the only Christian representative, Sister Diana.

After this refusal became public, many Americans protested, some writing to their congressmen. Discussing the nun’s visa denial, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said:

This is an administration which never seems to find a good enough excuse to help Christians, but always finds an excuse to apologize for terrorists … I hope that as it gets attention that Secretary Kerry will reverse it. If he doesn’t, Congress has to investigate, and the person who made this decision ought to be fired.

The State Department eventually granted Sister Diana a visa.

This is not the first time the U.S. State Department has not granted a visa to a Christian leader coming from a Muslim region. Last year, after the United States Institute for Peace brought together the governors of Nigeria’s mostly Muslim northern states for a conference in the U.S., the State Department blocked the visa of the region’s only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang.

According to a Nigerian human rights lawyer based in Washington D.C., Emmanuel Ogebe, the Christian governor’s “visa problems” were due to anti-Christian bias in the U.S. government:

The U.S. insists that Muslims are the primary victims of Boko Haram. It also claims that Christians discriminate against Muslims in Plateau, which is one of the few Christian majority states in the north. After the [Christian governor] told them [U.S. authorities] that they were ignoring the 12 Shariah states who institutionalized persecution … he suddenly developed visa problems…. The question remains — why is the U.S. downplaying or denying the attacks against Christians?

The testimony of another nun, Sister Hatune Dogan, also made in May, indicates why the State Department may not want to hear such testimonials: they go against the paradigm that “Islam is peace.” According to Sister Hatune:

What is going on there [Islamic State territories], what I was hearing, is the highest barbarism on earth in the history until today… The mission of Baghdadi, of ISIS, is to convert the world completely to the Islamic religion and bring them to Dar Al Salaam, as they call it. And Islam is not peace, please. Whoever says ISIS has no connection to Islam or something like this is, he’s a liar. ISIS is Islam; Islam is ISIS… We know that in Islam, there is no democracy. Islam and democracy are opposite, like black and white. And I hope America will understand. America today has the power that they can stop this disaster on the earth, with other Western countries.

For the rest of Ibrahim’s monthly roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world, click here.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum

Authorities ignore US mosques at center of Islamic terror attacks

From left, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Hani Hanjour, and Chattanooga shooter Mohammed Abdulazeez. Photo: AP; AP; Getty Images

From left, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Hani Hanjour, and Chattanooga shooter Mohammed Abdulazeez.
Photo: AP; AP; Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, July 26, 2015:

Property records show the mosque attended by the terrorist who killed US soldiers at a base in Chattanooga, Tenn., is affiliated with the same Islamic group as the mosques patronized by the Boston marathon bombers and the 9/11 hijackers who attacked the Pentagon.

Yet federal investigators have dismissed any possibility that the Tennessee mosque was a source of radicalization or support for the terrorist, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

The trustee of the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, like the Boston and Virginia mosques attended by other terrorists, is the North American Islamic Trust.

In 2007, the Justice Department designated NAIT as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing case in America history, US v. Holy Land Land Foundation, which resulted in convictions and imprisonment of several US-based Hamas terrorist leaders. Current NAIT chairman Gaddoor Saidi also appears on the government’s co-conspirator list.

Court records detail money flowing through NAIT financial accounts to Hamas. In the same exhibits from the trial, the Justice Department lists NAIT and Saidi among “members of the US Muslim Brotherhood,” alongside NAIT’s parent the Islamic Society of North America — from which the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga derives its name.

While NAIT maintains its innocence, its repeated appeals to the government to expunge its name from the co-conspirators list have failed. A federal judge ruled there is “ample evidence” tying NAIT to Hamas and the Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a worldwide jihadist movement whose credo is “Jihad is our way, and death for the glory of Allah is our greatest ambition.”

The ethnic-Palestinian Abdulazeez expressed similar ambitions in his Internet writings, in which he dreamed of fighting and dying in “jihad for the sake of Allah.”

In 2009, when Islamic Society leaders were raising money from Chattanooga Muslims for construction of their new mosque, they invoked the names of major Muslim Brotherhood figures — including the group’s spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who once issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill US soldiers in Iraq.

Qaradawi’s name shows up in a mosque PowerPoint presentation exhorting Muslim faithful to donate “in the cause of Allah.”

Abdulazeez and his family were longtime members of the Islamic Society, which forces women to pray separately from men and wear head coverings.

Contradicting recent claims they had “minimal interactions” with the 24-year-old jihadist, Facebook postings show mosque leaders once held a well-attended graduation celebration for him.

Friends say Abdulazeez regularly prayed at the Islamic Society in the months leading up to his attack on two US military sites.

The current mosque leadership is directly connected to NAIT.

The Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga grew out of a small mosque founded by NAIT in 1997, the original deed reveals.

“NAIT bought the property in August of 1997 from St. John United Methodist,” said Sheldon Wright, deputy clerk for the Hamilton County, Tenn., register of deeds.

In 2007, the land for the new mosque was purchased by the “Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga Inc.,” which lists an address for NAIT agent Arif Shafi. Shafi that same year filed the articles of incorporation for the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga. The state charter lists Shafi as both the “registered agent” for the mosque and one of its “incorporators.”

Then, in 2013, NAIT sold the old mosque, Masjid Annour, moving it to the new Islamic Society site. Shafi is represented in the transaction as “the authorized agent of the North American Islamic Trust.”

Attempts to reach Shafi for comment were unsuccessful. Other Islamic Society officials have asserted the mosque preaches peace and that they saw no signs that Abdulazeez was involved in “extremism.”

This is a familiar refrain. Americans have heard the same line from leaders of other mosques controlled by NAIT after their members, too, carried out acts of terrorism. Among them:

  • Islamic Society of Boston, where a dozen terrorists have worshipped, including the marathon bombers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev and most recently the ISIS-inspired terrorist who plotted to behead Boston cops.
  • Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, where worshippers included two ISIS terrorists who attacked a Dallas-area event and planned to shoot up the Super Bowl.
  • Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, where some of the 9/11 hijackers worshipped and got help obtaining IDs and housing, following on the heels of the Fort Hood shooter and several other terrorists who have attended the mosque just outside Washington.

More interested in outreach, authorities overlooked these disturbing patterns.

After 9/11, the Pentagon even invited the Dar al-Hijrah cleric, who ministered to the very hijackers who torpedoed the military headquarters, to an interfaith luncheon. That same cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, would go on to head al Qaeda’s operations in Yemen before a drone-fired missile finally caught up to him.

Muslim Brotherhood archives uncovered last decade in an FBI raid of a terrorist suspect’s basement in a Washington suburb list NAIT as one of the movement’s key fronts in the US. They also describe its Islamic centers as “bases” from which to train and deploy its “battalions” in jihad.

NAIT holds title to more than 300 mosques and has helped finance more than 500 Islamic centers in America. Imams insist that none of them preach hate. But is it enough for law enforcement to just take their word for it?

We can’t let political correctness spare these mosques due scrutiny.

Paul Sperry, Hoover Institution media fellow, is author of “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”

Obama’s secret Iran deals exposed

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) (Danny Johnston/Associated Press)

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) (Danny Johnston/Associated Press)

Washington Post, b July 27, 2015:

President Obama promised that his nuclear deal with Iran would not be “based on trust” but rather “unprecedented verification.” Now it turns out Obama’s verification regime is based on trust after all — trust in two secret side agreements negotiated exclusively between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that apparently no one (including the Obama administration) has seen.

Worse, Obama didn’t even reveal the existence of these secret side deals to Congress when he transmitted the nuclear accord to Capitol Hill. The agreements were uncovered, completely by chance, by two members of Congress — Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) — who were in Vienna meeting with the U.N.-releated agency.

In an interview, Pompeo told me that he and Cotton were meeting with the deputy director of the IAEA and the agency’s two top Iran negotiators just days after the nuclear accord was announced, when they asked how the agency will carry out verification at the Iranian military complex at Parchin. IAEA officials told them, quite casually, that the details were all covered in agreements negotiated between the IAEA and the Iranian government. It was the first they had heard of the side deals.

Pompeo says they asked whether they could see those agreements. He says IAEA officials replied, “ ‘Oh no, of course not, no, you’re not going to get to see those.’ And so everybody on our side of the table asked, ‘Has Secretary Kerry seen these?’ ‘No, Secretary Kerry hasn’t seen them. No American is ever going to get to see them.’ ”

It turns out that only the two parties — the IAEA and Iran — get to see the actual agreements (though you can see a picture of Iranian and IAEA officials holding up what appear to be the secret accords here).

In other words, Obama is gambling our national security and handing over $150 billion in sanctions relief to Iran, based on secret agreements negotiated between the IAEA and Iran that no U.S. official has seen.

“We need to see these documents in order to evaluate whether or not verification is ample to make such a big concession to the Iranians,” Pompeo says. “No member of Congress should be asked to vote on an agreement of this historic importance absent knowing what the terms of the verification process are.”

In fact, the Obama administration’s failure to transmit these side deals to Congress is a violation of the law. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which Obama signed into law, explicitly states that the president must transmit the nuclear agreement along with “all related materials and annexes.” That clearly covers any side agreements covering the verification of Iran’s compliance.

Susan Rice told reporters the administration “provided Congress with all of the documents that we drafted or were part of drafting and all documents shared with us by the IAEA.” Sorry, that’s not what the law requires.

But the administration cannot hand over what it apparently does not have. For Pompeo, that raises even more troubling questions. “Why on earth is the president letting the negotiations [on verification] be negotiated by someone other than us?” he asks. How can it be that the administration would “do a deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, that’s spent its entire existence cheating, and we would sign off on a deal with them whose core provisions are completely unknown to our side? It’s remarkable.”

What is in the secret side deals? According to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), one of the side deals governing inspections of the Parchin military complex allows Iran to collect its own soil samples, instead of IAEA inspectors. That is like letting Lance Armstrong collect his own blood samples for a doping investigation. “I suspect if we’re able to actually go over [these agreements], you find half a dozen that you would stare at and realize we really didn’t get verification,” Pompeo says.

Congress should insist on seeing the side deals before it votes on the Iran accord. The only way to stop the agreement is for Congress to override the president’s veto through a resolution of disapproval with a two-thirds vote in both houses. That would require 13 Senate Democrats and 45 House Democrats to vote no — which would have been highly unlikely until the revelation of these secret deals.

It remains to be seen whether the revelation of the secret side deals will make it impossible for Democrats to vote in favor of the Iran agreement. How, Pompeo asks, can they explain to their constituents that they voted for a nuclear deal with Iran without knowing how it will be verified?

“My mission in the next 45 days is to convince 45 House Democrats to override the veto,” Pompeo says. “It’s a long climb, but this is important.”

Read more from Marc Thiessen’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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EMP threat

Sen. Johnson asked the energy secretary if he was aware of the 2008 congressional commission report that concluded an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack would kill up to 90 percent of the U.S. population within a year, by knocking out the U.S electric grid with the explosion of just a single nuclear bomb over the American heartland.

To the senator’s amazement, Moniz replied he had not.

Johnson asked if Moniz was aware that Iran had practiced EMP attacks with simple scud missiles.

He was not.

Johnson said that alarmed him, especially in light of the details of the Iran deal, because in the seven years since the congressional report, “we have done nothing to protect ourselves” against the EMP threat.

“We better start now,” the senator concluded.

Pamela Geller, Breitbart News: “1001 Muslim Myths and Historical Revisions”

1001_Inventions_ShopBreitbart, by Pamela Geller, July 26, 2015:

CNN last Wednesday ran a viciously mendacious “article” dragging out the “Muslim inventions” myth – yet again.

This is hardly new; I wrote of it in 2012. CNN is pushing a new book that is based on 1001 Muslim Inventions, a traveling museum exhibit that has appeared all over the West to huge acclaim from the likes of Prince Charles. It has indoctrinated hundreds of thousands of children into a rosy and romanticized view of Islam that makes them less appreciative of their own culture’s achievements and more complacent about Islamization in the West.

1001-inventions-800x450

And now we see historical revisionism take on a new life, as history is scrubbed and manufactured Muslim myths are presented as fact. “1001 Muslim Inventions” is almost unfailingly dishonest. It touts surgery as one of the top 10 Muslim inventions, but in reality, surgery began in the Neolithic era and was widely practiced in ancient Greece. Likewise, the coffee plant was discovered in Christian Ethiopia.

Next on CNN’s list is flight: “Abbas ibn Firnas was the first person to make a real attempt to construct a flying machine and fly.” Abbas ibn Firnas was a man who threw on a pair of manmade wings and attempted to fly, but only ended up breaking his back. That makes him the father of the flying machine?

Fourth in CNN’s top ten Muslim inventions is the university: “In 859 a young princess named Fatima al-Firhi founded the first degree-granting university in Fez, Morocco.” The first university? Tell it to the Jews, a people 6,000 years old, with education as the cornerstone of their culture. And Nalanda University of India dates back to the fifth century.

Then comes algebra, and this claim, as well as the others, is utter nonsense. A Muslim, Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa, is often described as the originator of algebra. But Abu Ja’far lived between 780 and 850 AD; algebra initiated in ancient Babylon, Egypt, and Athens, 2,500 years before Abu Ja’far was born.

Next is optics, which also began long before Islam, in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, where lenses were developed by artisans working from theories the Greek philosophers.

CNN even has the audacity to claim music as a Muslim invention, despite the fact that Islamic law forbids music. Are they kidding? Where are the Muslim Bachs, Beethovens, and Gershwins? What about Jewish music, which goes back over 5,000 years? Muhammad wasn’t even a twinkle in his father’s eye.

CNN also claims the toothbrush for Islam, saying that Muhammad, whom they refer to, of course, as “the prophet,” “popularized the use of the first toothbrush in around 600. Using a twig from the Meswak tree, he cleaned his teeth and freshened his breath.”

Muhammad was the first man to use an object to clean his teeth? Color me laughing. In reality, the bristle toothbrush wasn’t invented until 1498, in China. And the crank, the next item on CNN’s list (which was compiled by a crank indeed), dates back to Spain in the fifth century BC. The hospital, the last item on CNN’s list, goes back to ancient Rome.

With the advent of now daily jihad terror plots, arrests, and attacks, the Islamic/leftist machine is in fifth gear. Teen Vogue, the BBC, the Huffington Post, the New York Times,Newsweek and all the mainstream media outlets are churning out lies, myths and Islamic supremacist narratives to counter reality. Damn the truth, full speed ahead.

It’s endless, this sharia scrubbing of history. It’s why our children are not taught true Islamic history in the public schools: the jihadi wars, cultural annihilations, and enslavements or why the hundreds of millions of victims of Islamic wars have disappeared from world history courses.

Many of the inventions the Muslims take credit for are the inventions of the peoples, countries and lands they conquered. The booty from their conquests wasn’t only tangible gold, women, and monies, but intellectual theft as well.

The first Arabic-language medical treatise was written by a Christian priest and translated into Arabic by a Jewish doctor in 683. The first hospital was founded in Baghdad during the Abbasid caliphate — not by a Muslim, but a Nestorian Christian. A pioneering medical school was founded at Gundeshapur in Persia — by Assyrian Christians. The bottom line: the inventions and discoveries attributed to the Muslim world were actually stolen from conquered peoples.

CNN, by spreading this nonsense, shows itself yet again to be more interested in politically correct fiction than news. “1001 Muslim Inventions” is not history, but propaganda – and par for the course for the mainstream media these days.

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.

Obama Admin Backs NATO Ally Turkey’s Double Game with Islamic State After Turks Bomb Anti-ISIS Kurdish Groups

1436985867gory-23PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 26, 2015:

A bizarre situation unfolded this past week, one that could possibly drag the U.S. into a new war in the Middle East.

On Monday, a suicide bomber attacked a rally in Suruc, Turkey, targeting a news conference of the Kurdish Federation of Socialist Youth Associations, killing 32. The suicide bomber was identified by Turkish authorities as an Islamic State supporter who had returned from Syria.

NYT tweet

In response the Islamist government in Ankara, led by Obama’s pal Recep Erdogan (one of Obama’s top five international friends), launched airstrikes targeting not the Islamic State, but Kurdish groups in Iraq.

CNN Turk

CNN Turk m2

This comes as more evidence emerges that Turkey has been playing a double game with the Islamic State. The evidence was obtained in a U.S. special forces raid of a senior ISIS leader in Iraq.

The Guardian reports today:

When US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.

The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.

As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two. It led to protests from Washington and Europe – both already wary of Turkey’s 900-mile border with Syria being used as a gateway by would-be jihadis from around the world.

This comes as more evidence emerges that Turkey has been playing a double game with the Islamic State. The evidence was obtained in a U.S. special forces raid of a senior ISIS leader in Iraq.

The Guardian reports today:

When US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.

The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.

As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two. It led to protests from Washington and Europe – both already wary of Turkey’s 900-mile border with Syria being used as a gateway by would-be jihadis from around the world.

Turkey oil link t0 ISIS

 

This is not the first time that Turkey has been caught double-dealing against their U.S. NATO ally. There was the “gas for gold” scheme with Iran that allowed the Islamic Republic to skirt international sanctions, and Erdogan and the Turkish intelligence chief had a photographed meeting with U.S. designated Al-Qaeda global terror financier Yasin al-Qadi.

Curiously, shortly after those reports showing photographs of Erdogan meeting with al-Qadi appeared in the Turkish media, the Treasury Department under Obama removed al-Qadi’s terror designation.

The preferred route of thousands of foreign fighters now in the ranks of ISIS appears to have been mostly coming from Turkey and crossing the border into Syria, bringing complaints that Turkey was not doing enough to combat the group’s growth and that the border was becoming “a two-way jihadist highway.”

But a series of published reports going back to last year seem to show direct and indirect Turkish support for the Islamic State.

  • In April 2014, Turkish media reports showed photographs of ISIS commander Abu Muhammad being treated at the Hatay State Hospital after being injured fighting in Syria. Opposition politicians also claimed that fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, were allowed to stay at the guesthouses of the government’s Religious Affairs Directorate.
  • Last November, Newsweek published an interview with a former ISIS fighter who said that ISIS fighters faced no obstructions entering from Turkey. Meanwhile, ISIS commanders bragged about the “full cooperation with the Turks,” while anti-ISIS Kurdish fighters were blocked by Turkish authorities.
  • This account seems to be confirmed by a report from Aydınlık Daily, which reported in July 2014 that the Turkish intelligence service, the MIT, had transported members of Syrian terrorist groups and their weapons across the border.
  • Two weeks after that report, at an event site approved by Erdogan’s ruling AKP Party and sponsored by a publication known for its ISIS sympathiesa rally was held in Istanbul where video showed speakers openly calling for jihad. There were also reports that recruiting for ISIS fighters took place.
  • In January, Turkish military documents from the Gendarmerie General Command leaked online showed that Turkish intelligence were transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition for Al-Qaeda and actively obstructed the military from documenting the transfers.
  • The New York Times reported in May that massive amounts of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer used for making bombs, were being prepared in a Turkish town near Syria and transported across the border. The report quoted an opposition politician who admitted that the fertilizing was not for farms, but for bombs.
  • Reuters reported exclusively in late May that court documents and prosecutor testimony revealed that Turkish intelligence had transported weapons across the border in 2013 and early 2014, aiding the offensive push by ISIS into Iraq in June 2014. Erdogan himself had said that the shipments were aid.

And then there’s this, though it’s unlikely that it’s much of a secret…

Turkey recruting IS

Read more

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Congress Must Hold Obama Accountable for His Deception Over Iran

impeach-obama-over-iran-deal-b

By lying and withholding information about the agreement, he gives aid and comfort to America’s enemy.

National Review, by Andrew McCarthy, July 25, 2015:

The president “must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate.”

One can imagine hearing such counsel from a contemporary United States senator on the receiving end of President Obama’s “full disclosure” of the nuclear deal with Iran. But the admonition actually came from James Iredell, a champion of the Constitution’s ratification, who was later appointed to the Supreme Court by President George Washington.

Iredell was addressing the obligations the new Constitution imposed on the president in the arena of international affairs. Notwithstanding the chief executive’s broad powers to “regulate all intercourse with foreign powers,” it would be the president’s “duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives.” Indeed, among the most egregious offenses a president could commit would be fraudulently inducing senators “to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them.”

A little over a year ago, I recounted Iredell’s cautionary words in Faithless Execution. They echo an instructive illustration offered by James Madison, the Constitution’s principal author: If the president were “to commit any thing so atrocious” as to fraudulently rig Senate approval of an international agreement, he would “be impeached and convicted.”

RELATED: Is the Iran Deal the Worst Political Blunder of All Time?

Interestingly, the perfidy in Madison’s hypothetical involved summoning into session only senators favorably disposed toward a formal treaty that the president wanted approved. That was more plausible in the late 18th century: Under the Constitution, a treaty may be approved by “two thirds of the senators present” for the vote; and back then, senators coming from far and wide could not fly to the nation’s capital at the drop of a hat.

The hypothetical is telling as we consider Obama’s Iran deal. The Constitution makes treason a ground for impeachment, but it seems to have been outside Madison’s contemplation that a president would actually be so insidious as to use his foreign-affairs power to give aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States. On that score, note that as soon as Obama’s deal was announced, not only was Iran’s foreign minister vowing to continue funding jihadist terror; the regime’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was also extolling the continued Iranian call for “Death to America.”

RELATED: Obama’s Iran Deal Is the Opposite of What He Promised the American People

Madison could not fathom a president who undermines the Constitution’s treaty requirements by the ruse of labeling a treaty an “agreement” or a “joint plan of action.” Still less could he imagine a president who resorts to chicanery in communicating the terms of an international agreement to the Congress. Such duplicity must have seemed inconceivable.

Yet now, it is not just conceivable. It is happening:

Obama’s original stated commitment to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-weapons power has deteriorated into a deal that enables Iran to become a nuclear-weapons power by abiding by the deal’s terms. The mullahs’ inevitable cheating will merely speed up matters; the outcome is already certain.

Obama is willfully providing material support to the mullahs’ terrorism (a felony violation of federal law) — the deal will inject over $100 billion into Iran’s economy, and Iran brags that it will continue its open and notorious funding of Hezbollah and other anti-American, anti-Western, and anti-Israel “allies” (while the administration splutters that, gee whiz, curbing terrorism was not part of the negotiations).

Obama not only lifts restrictions on Iran’s traffic in ballistic missiles and conventional weapons (which were also not supposed to be part of the negotiations) but also looks the other way while Russia sells the mullahs hundreds of sophisticated surface-to-air missiles — missiles that will be used against American forces when, inevitably, a future president decides to deal differently with our enemies.

Obama’s deal, rationalized as necessary to delay (but no longer to forbid) Iran’s nuclearization, obliges the United States to protect Iranian nuclear facilities from sabotage — i.e., the deal makes America the scourge of erstwhile allies like Israel, with which we have colluded in impeding our actual enemy’s nuclear progress.

Yet, however shocking they may be, these acknowledged concessions do not fully convey the depth of the president’s betrayal. After a few days of misdirection, administration officials now admit that there are “side deals” that the administration has not revealed to Congress and does not intend to make public.

So far, we know of two “side deals” — who knows how many more there may actually be? As the Center for Security Policy’s Fred Fleitz writes in National Review, they involve (a) a full accounting of Iran’s prior nuclear activities (many of which are believed to have been in blatant violation of international law) and (b) access to the Parchin military base, where Iran has conducted explosive testing related to nuclear missiles.

Apropos of these subjects, recall that the administration repeatedly promised there would be no deal, that the president would walk away from the table, unless Iran agreed to a rigorous inspection regiment. Such a regiment minimally requires: (a) complete disclosure of the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s past nuclear work, in order to establish a baseline for evaluating future conduct, and (b) the ability to conduct credible snap inspections of nuclear facilities.

RELATED: Obama: Witless or Willing?

Despite the administration’s chest-beating about these “red lines,” the Iranians remained alternatively coy and intransigent: When not lying about what cards they were willing to show, the mullahs insisted that Americans would not be permitted to snoop around their country and interfere in their military affairs.

Someone had to cave in, and — you could set your watch on it — that someone is Obama (if, that is, you are one of those who believed he was being honest in the first place). Thus the problem: how to cover up this decisive surrender within the surrender?

So, in his signature “if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan” style, the president has come up with a fraudulent scheme: use the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency) as a smokescreen. His administration now cynically claims that these critical agreement components — the rationale for lifting American sanctions on and making American commitments to the “Death to America” regime — actually have nothing to do with America . . . they are strictly between Tehran and the IAEA. Translation: Blame the IAEA, not Obama, for the abandonment of Obama’s core commitments.

RELATED: Obama’s Jihadist Stimulus Package

This would be laughable if it were not so offensive — and so perilous. Put aside that the Constitution does not permit the U.S. government to delegate American national security to anyone. The IAEA is not an independent actor. It is an international bureaucracy forged by the United States in the 1950s. Not only is the U.S. is a staple of its governing board; the American people underwrite over 25 percent of its budget. Furthermore, the IAEA reports to the United Nations (to which the American taxpayers’ contribution also far exceeds that of other countries) and, specifically, to the U.N. Security Council (of which the United States remains the dominant permanent member).

Now consider this: Under cover of this IAEA ruse, Obama ran to the Security Council and rammed through a resolution commencing implementation of his Iran deal before Congress or the American people could consider it. He thus undermined American sovereignty and the Constitution by scheming to impose an international-law fait accompli. And he thus undermined American national security by transferring his inspection commitments to an international agency that he knows is not close to being capable of executing them — an agency that will be further hampered by notice restrictions that, as Charles Krauthammer concludes, render the inspections “farcical” in any event.

The Constitution forbids providing aid and comfort to America’s enemies. And the Framers’ notion that a president would be punishable for deceiving Congress regarding the conduct of foreign affairs meant that lawmakers would be obliged to use their constitutional powers to protect the United States — not merely shriek on cable television as if they were powerless spectators.

Well?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Also see:

As I See It: Arming all sides for nuclear war

Photo by: REUTERS

Photo by: REUTERS

Jerusalem Post, by Melanie Phillips, July 23, 2015:

The “Special Relationship” between America and Britain clearly has one little-known attribute. It inflicts a lethal paralysis on the non-American partner.

Strikingly, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has been increasingly showing that he “gets it” on domestic Islamic extremism.

He has also evolved into the most pro-Israel leader in Europe.

Yet at the same time he has signed up to the appalling farce of the US-led surrender to Iran, thus putting Britain as well as America, Israel and much of the world at risk. So how can he “get it” about bits of what he correctly terms “the struggle of our generation,” but not the rest of it? In a landmark speech he gave earlier this week on Islamic extremism, Cameron showed he is beginning to understand the threat from the Islamic jihad.

True, he repeated the presumptuous mantra that Islamism was “not true Islam.” It would surely be more appropriate to say that Islamism is a fanatical interpretation of Islam rooted in the religion.

And as Cameron went on to make clear, he understands that this indeed is the problem because he boldly placed himself squarely behind those Muslims seeking to bring about an Islamic reformation. To deny that Islamist violence had anything to do with Islam, he said, meant “you disempower the critical reforming voices; the voices that are challenging the fusing of religion and politics; the voices that want to challenge the scriptural basis which extremists claim to be acting on.”

Absolutely.

He also understood that within Islam there was a “spectrum of extremism.” As he said, it was not enough for Muslims to say they abhorred ISIS (Islamic State).

“We’ve got to show that if you say, ‘Yes I condemn terror – but the kuffar are inferior,’ or, ‘Violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter’ – then you too are part of the problem.”

Wow. This was the second time recently that Cameron identified Britain with Israeli victims of terrorism – a bold move in a country where any expression of public support for Israel elicits from the political and cultural elite a sharp intake of breath.

And he went even further by stressing that a key factor behind Islamic extremism was the Muslim world’s paranoia “that Jews exercise malevolent power; or that Western powers, in concert with Israel, are deliberately humiliating Muslims, because they aim to destroy Islam.”

This identification of Muslim anti-Jewish hatred with anti-Western jihadi violence is a crucial understanding. And nowhere is this deranged connection more evident than in the genocidal ravings by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Yet this same David Cameron is supporting a so-called deal which commits Britain, the US and others to help put nuclear weapons into the hands of those same genocidal Islamists.

If the P5+1 negotiators had deliberately set out to produce an Orwellian negation of every single thing they purported to be doing, making themselves appear guilty of criminal cynicism, treachery or utter imbecility, they could not have exceeded the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action finalized in Vienna.

This plan has endorsed Iran, the West’s sworn enemy and the world’s principal sponsor of terrorism, as a nuclear threshold state.

The plan allows Iran to keep its nuclear program intact. At best it will delay its nuclear weapons breakout capacity by 10 years.

Crucially, it enables Iran to avoid inspection of all its nuclear sites – probably allowing it to hold the inspectors at bay for months.

Furthermore, the plan is drafted with no acknowledgment of Iran’s murderous behavior.

So with sanctions set to be relaxed, some $150 billion will be released for the regime to boost armaments to Hamas, Hezbollah and anti-West forces in Yemen and Iraq.

Incomprehensibly, the US-led negotiators have also agreed to lift the UN arms embargo – on Iranian ballistic missiles whose only purpose is to hit America and Europe.

Even more surreally still, the US, Britain and the rest have actually pledged to help Iran thwart any attempts to undermine its nuclear program, including sabotage.

Since precisely such clandestine activities have been carried out for years by either Israel, the US or British special forces or a combination of all three in a desperate attempt to slow down the Iranian nuclear program, this commitment is simply beyond belief.

It turns the US, Britain and the rest from being ineffectually committed to thwarting Iran’s nuclear weapons program into actively conniving at the production of the genocide bomb and the ramping up of Iranian terrorism around the world.

The US revealed its true intentions when it declared that it would now supply both Israel and Saudi Arabia with extra weapons to protect themselves against the Iranian threat.

But since the Obama administration never stops claiming that its plan will neutralize the Iranian threat, why give Saudi and Israel this extra protection? The brutal and terrible answer is that what America, Britain and the rest are in reality now doing is helping arm all sides in the region for nuclear war.

Oh – and Iran hasn’t even signed this nondeal.

So it is a nonexistent non-deal, aka total capitulation by America to an enemy of humanity.

We know why President Obama has done this. As a left-wing ideologue with a pathologically racist chip on his shoulder against white society, he believes that peace and justice will be advanced by empowering the presumed historic victims of America.

Thus embraced by the family of nations, Iran will supposedly turn into a model global citizen. The fatuity of this delusion is being underlined by even more bellicose rhetoric issuing from the apocalypse-now fanatics of the Iranian regime.

But that hardly explains why David Cameron is going along with this suicidal farce. One might speculate that he doesn’t want to split with Britain’s special ally, the US. But I believe there’s a yet deeper obstacle to realism.

The prime minister is a particular and distinctive type of Englishman: decent, humane, rational – but insular. When he came into office he knew nothing and seemed to care less about foreign matters. So he went along with the foreign policy establishment’s instinctive dislike of Israel and appeasement of the Islamic world.

He has been shocked into changing his attitude by recent events – the rise of ISIS and its attraction for so many young British Muslims; the atrocities just across the English Channel at Charlie Hebdo and the kosher grocery store; the slaughter of British tourists in Tunisia.

But he still doesn’t see the bigger geopolitical picture. He doesn’t see that, far from helping the West against ISIS, Iran is merely another front in exactly the same war against civilization.

He doesn’t see that the need to destroy the Iranian regime is part of the same “struggle of our generation.”

He doesn’t see it because, unlike ISIS, the Iranian leaders are the most manipulative and sophisticated dissemblers and long-game players in the world. Presented with naive, decent Englishmen and delusional American ideologues, the Iranians play them for the suckers they are.

Someone should help David Cameron join up the dots, and fast.

Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (UK).

Also see:

Domestic terrorism’s link to international terrorism

 

mohabdThe Gorka Briefing, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, July 25, 2015:

There is a serious problem the way we categorize terrorism in the post-9/11 world. The separation between domestic terrorism and international terrorism breaks down very rapidly–there is an international connection to all the past jihadist attacks in the West. My interview on the John Batchelor radio show (9 minutes) regarding the tragedy in Chattanooga, TN.

Click here to go to the audio.

CAIR Leader Nezar Hamze Is Now Deputy Sheriff

hamze

First Jewish Sheriff of Broward County picks representative of terror group to wear gun and badge.

Frontpage, by Joe Kaufman, July 24, 2015:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has its foundation in the terrorist organization Hamas. It has been named as a co-conspirator by the U.S. government for two federal trials dealing with the financing of Hamas, and it is recognized as an international terrorist group by the government of United Arab Emirates (UAE). Given this information, how is it possible that one of this group’s leaders, Nezar Hamze, could be considered for a position at one of the most prominent Sheriff’s offices in the United States? However, that is exactly what has happened.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) is the largest fully accredited Sheriff’s office in the nation. As such, having the title of Sheriff comes with much fanfare and responsibility. The current Sheriff is Scott Israel; he was elected to office in November 2012. As Sheriff, Israel has made it a point to reach out to diverse crowds, including those who could be considered enemies of the U.S. and her allies.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s 2015 radical Muslim tour began this past January, when he posed for photos with Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout and a member of Zakkout’s Miami-based AMANA group at a local mosque. Zakkout is a big supporter of Hamas. On his Facebook page, one can find Hamas logos and photos of Hamas militants and leaders, including Hamas founders Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi and deceased Hamas bomb maker Yehiya Ayyash.

***

Can Sheriff Israel, the first Jewish Sheriff in Broward County, seriously believe that Nezar Hamze – a man who has spent years as a leader of a fanatic Muslim organization; a man who repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas when given numerous chances; a man who tried to make excuses for his murderer cousin, after his cousin had willfully ran over a woman, dragged her body for several miles, and then tried to flee the country – should serve as a Deputy Sheriff in one of the most prominent Sheriff’s offices in the nation?!!

By employing Nezar Hamze, Sheriff Scott Israel has compromised not only the Broward Sheriff’s office, but the security of the entire county and by extension U.S. national security. And with the intelligence information made available to someone in Hamze’s position and the misleading information Hamze has exhibited he is capable of providing, who knows how much damage this could cause!

If the situation is not corrected and Nezar Hamze is not dismissed from his position immediately, Sheriff Israel should resign from office immediately.

If you wish to contact Sheriff Israel, you can do so by sending an e-mail to:ask_the_sheriff@sheriff.org, or you can call the Broward Sheriff’s Office, at 954-764-4357. Please be respectful in any and all communications with this office.

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Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative Partners with Think Tank linked to Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad and Hamas

1111091100Center for Security Policy, by Kyle Shideler, July 24, 2015:

Georgetown University’s “Bridge Initiative” will now be holding weekly classes to those interested in learning how to identify dreaded Islamophobes:

Students will learn about the history of the term “Islamophobia” and its earliest manifestations; its parallels with similar prejudices that have affected other groups through time; and creative ways to counter it. Classes will include a lecture that introduces basic concepts and expands on the recommended readings. The presentation will be followed by an opportunity to ask questions, engage with one another in small group conversations, and participate in group discussions to not only learn about Islamophobia, but offer ways about how to respond to and counter it. Upon completing this course, students will have a foundational understanding of Islamophobia that extends beyond daily headlines, and should feel empowered to address issues of prejudice and discrimination in their own communities and beyond.

The course will be held weekly at “The Fairfax Institute” in Northern Virginia. Despite the rather innocuous sounding name, The Fairfax Institute is in fact a school operated by a well known Muslim Brotherhood front, The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

As the we wrote in the Center for Security Policy’s white paper entitled, “IIIT: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Think Tank,”

“The organization was founded following an international conference of major Muslim Brotherhood figures, including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Al Qaradawi, in Lugano, Switzerland in 1977. The conference was held under the auspices of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), which was its self an outgrowth of the Muslim Student’s Association, the first Muslim Brotherhood organization in the United States.”

IIIT was founded to promote an ideology of “civilizational battle” against the West, particularly in regards to western educational practice. From IIIT’s 1989 publication, “Islamization of Knowledge: General Principles and Work Plan,” written by IIIT founder, Abdulhamid AbuSulyman:

Unlike the past, the civilizational forces contending in this century can reach and overtake anyone without invasion or military occupation of his land. They can subvert his mind, convert him to their world view, neutralize and contain him as a puppet whether he is aware of it or not. Certainly these forces are contending with one another to dominate the world. And it is the decision of Muslims today whether Islam will be the victor tomorrow, whether Muslims will be the makers of history or merely the objects. Indeed, a civilizational battle now in progress in the world scene will not leave anyone unscathed.
Far from disowning AbuSulyman, IIIT continues to honor their Muslim Brotherhood founder, granting him the title President Emeritus in 2014.

In addition to promoting Muslim versus non-Muslim “civilizational battle”, IIIT has also been linked to supporting actual violence. In a sworn affidavit in support of search warrants on the IIIT property located on Grove Street (where students of the Bridge Initiative will be attending their Islamophobia course),  Special Agent David Kane noted:

“Based on the evidence in this affidavit, I know that they [IIIT’s founders] are ardent supporters of PIJ and HAMAS. They have repeatedly voiced their ideological support. I have seen repeated instances of their financial support, and believe that they have acted to conceal many other instances of their financial support.”

In addition to support Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, IIIT also hosted an employee with ties to Al Qaeda.  IIIT:

“counted Tarik Abdulmalik Hamdi as one of its employees–entering the UnitedStates with the assistance of [convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad organizer Sami] Al-Arian–who also provided assistance to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaida and Osama Bin-Laden, and used his house to hold property for Bin-Laden and other designated terrorists. He personally provided Bin Laden with the battery for the satellite phone that prosecutors at the New York trial of the East Africa Embassy bombers described as, “the phone bin Laden and others will use to carry out their war against the United States.”

The Bridge Initiative’s work to portray as islamophobic those who raise national security issues about the Muslim Brotherhood and its subversive efforts to support terrorism and wage “civilizational jihad”, would perhaps be better served if they did not themselves associate with organizations which supported terrorism, and promoted “civilizational jihad.”

Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga is an Enemy Outpost

Islamic-Society-of-Greater-Chattanooga3Understanding the Threat by John Guandolo, July 24, 2015:

This 5 minute video reveals the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga – like all “Islamic Society of” organizations – is a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood organization and, therefore, supports jihadi operations like the killing of 4 Marines and 1 sailor on July 16, 2015.

The US v HLF (Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development) (Dallas, 2008) was the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history. The evidence revealed the most prominent Islamic organizations in the U.S. are controlled by Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood. The list of Hamas/MB groups includes the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Hamas doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Islamic Centers, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), American Muslims for Palestine, EMERGE, US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), and many others.

Also see:

So the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga announced in 2009 that it openly aligned its views of Jihad with the views of Qaradawi and Maududi, and told its Muslim congregants that donating to the construction of ISGC was permissible, because it represented funding jihad.

Obama: American in name only

20141210_obamameanmadsmugFamily Security Matters, by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD, July 21, 2015:

Barack Hussein Obama is making the world safe for Islamo-Marxism.

At first glance, it would seem an improbable collaboration, but the marriage of convenience between radical Islam and Marxism, like the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939-1941, has a practical purpose, to destroy Western democracy.

Adolf Hitler did not want a two-front war and benefitted from Soviet resources while he attempted to crush France and Britain in 1940 before turning the full force of the German military against his ultimate enemy in the east.

Likewise, Joseph Stalin expected Germany, France and Britain to exhaust themselves in a prolonged conflict, buying time to build Soviet military strength and, debilitated by war, the Red Army would then easily march in and conquer all of Western Europe.

Both radical Islam and Marxism have a mutual hatred of Judeo-Christian democracy and a shared belief that the United States, as the cornerstone of Western civilization, is the embodiment of evil and the main impediment to establishing a global caliphate or a communist dictatorship. They have joined together in a formal conspiracy of political and social manipulation specifically designed to convince individuals that his or her actions are determined not by personal liberty, but the needs of a “community,” whose desires and rights are dictated exclusively by mullahs or commissars.

Obama’s rhetoric and policies mirror the Marxist war on Western culture by destroying the Middle Class, weakening the family as the primary social institution, practicing tribal politics, encouraging historical revisionism, promoting political correctness and multiculturalism, replacing logic and facts with emotionally satisfying gestures; all meant to undermine traditional American values and the principles upon which our country was founded.

Obama began his first term of office with his now infamous “apology tour,” humiliating, some say condemning the United States.

On June 4, 2009 in Cairo, Obama said about Iran: “In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government. I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons.”

Yet Obama’s policies have virtually guaranteed a nuclear- and intercontinental ballistic missile-armed Iran.

Also in Cairo, Obama said: “There’s been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation on any other.”

Yet Obama’s policies fostered Islamist governments in Egypt and Libya.

In general, Obama has pursued policies that have facilitated rather than opposed the aims of our enemies.

Having been granted immunity from any uncomfortable questions about his personal history, Obama has established deceit and political oppression as primary instruments of government policy. He has attempted to render Congress powerless by unlawfully assuming executive authority not granted under the Constitution in order to continue, unobstructed, his fundamental transformation of the United States.

Left unimpeded, the inevitable result of Obama’s transformation will be a dystopia, characterized by a New Dark Age, a cataclysmic decline of society, in which a totalitarian government enforces ruthless egalitarianism by suppressing or denouncing ability and accomplishment, or even competence, as forms of inequality.

All the damage that Obama has perpetrated on the United States, however, could be reversed, his Constitutional transgressions declared null and void, simply by telling the truth.

That will not happen because Congress and the media are complicit in the greatest fraud and Constitutional crisis in American history and, if exposed, the truth would obliterate the corrupt political-media status quo.

The Democrats and their media shills are in lock-step. They have sworn allegiance, not to the Constitution and the country, but to their führer, their Islamo-Marxist Messiah, who they will protect by any means necessary.

Republicans remain silent because they have sworn allegiance to their personal bank accounts.

It should now be clear to Americans who are not politically sedated that the institutions of the federal government can no longer be relied upon to adhere to the Constitution or enforce the rule of law. The States will need to reclaim the powers given them and the American people under the 10th Amendment, powers that have been increasingly usurped by Washington DC.

“When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.” – Thomas Jefferson

Come the F*ck On: al Qaeda Is Not Our Ally!

Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

Daily Beast, by Robin Simcox, July 24, 2015:
A new argument among jihad analysts has it that the makers of 9/11 are now a handy bulwark against ISIS. Um, no.
Enemies becoming friends is seemingly all the rage these days. First Cuba. Then Iran. Now, there are those arguing that al Qaeda must also be brought into the fold. That’s right: the same group which fly planes into our buildings, blows up our tube networks, embassies and longs for the return of the Caliphate.

The argument seems to be catching on. The journalist Ahmed Rashid has recently taken to the pages of the New York Review of Books (“Why we need al Qaeda”) and the front cover of The Spectator (“Al Qaeda to the rescue”) to question whether al Qaeda “might be the best option left in the Middle East for the US and its allies.” The argument goes that the U.S., regional Arab powers and Turkey have a shared enemy in Bashar al-Assad, Iran and its proxies. Al Qaeda not only shares these enemies, it is at the frontline of this fight in Syria and Yemen.

Rashid also says that al Qaeda is going through “dramatic changes” and are now taking a “soft line” on certain issues. Charles Lister from Brookings has also explored potential al Qaeda moderation—with the headline used in his May article for the Huffington Post, “An Internal Struggle: Al Qaeda’s Syrian Affiliate is Grappling with its Identity,” making the group sound more like a 16 year-old goth from Portland than a murderous terrorist organization.

Other, less savory figures have spoken out on other ways in which al Qaeda may be useful. Moazzam Begg—the former Guantanamo Bay detainee—cites Rashidwhile arguing that “the most credible voices against IS have been Islamic clerics traditionally associated with al Qaeda”: Abu Qatada and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. These two jihadist theologians’ fatwas have been used to justify barbaric violence for decades. Yet Begg laments the UK government’s reluctance to reach out to such figures, arguing that it would help avert a repeat of the massacre of British tourists that just occurred in Tunisia.

This is largely unsurprising coming from Begg, who has long argued the Islamist cause. Yet as others view al Qaeda as a potentially constructive partner, it is worth exploring this thesis on its merits.

The examples of moderation cited by the likes of Rashid are anything but. A statement from Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, the head of al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, saying that he was under instructions not to use Syria “as a base to launch attacks on the West or Europe” is highlighted as a sign of progress. However, even this concession—as deeply generous as it is—is not because of a lack of desire to kill more Westerners; it is “so as not to muddy the current war” in Syria. A change in tactics should not be confused for a change in strategy.

The al-Nusra Front also remains proud of al Qaeda’s past successes when it comes to mass murder. A propaganda video they just released is heavy on video footage from 9/11—an attack described in the video as “the most effective solution”—and speeches by Osama bin Laden.

Rashid also mischaracterizes the nature of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s behavior in Yemen. He describes AQAP’s capture of territory in Hadhramaut, southeast Yemen, as “remarkably tame,” arguing that they “inflicted little damage, executed nobody, declined to run the local government and instead installed a council of elders to govern.” The residents of Hadhramaut—especially those in Mukalla—seem to remember things differently. Last month, they saw two Saudis murdered in public by the group and then strung up from a bridge, accused of being ‘spies’. There has also been recent reports from those living under AQAP rule in Mukalla that they have burned down markets; intimidated local residents and blown up local mausoleums.

Step outside the Middle East and there are a host of other examples demonstrating that al Qaeda is as brutal as it ever was. Look at the intensity of al-Shabaab’s attacks in Somalia, or the six UN peacekeepers killed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali earlier this month. The families of the “blasphemers” murdered by al Qaeda’s newest branch in the Indian Subcontinent also probably do not see much evidence of the group’s supposed “soft line”.

After the wars we have waged against the group over the past fourteen years and the blood that has been shed across the world by al Qaeda, it is remarkable to have to argue that they are not a constructive partner in anything the U.S. would ever want to achieve in the Middle East. Then again, we live in strange times. Who would have thought that the U.S. would be willing to militarily partner with the very same Iranian militias in Iraq that were killing their soldiers in the same theater ten years ago?

Something similar cannot be allowed to happen again. Al Qaeda is not our ally. It remains as committed as ever to our destruction and we should never forget it.

Information about the Chattanooga Shooter is Disappearing from the Internet

Abdulazeez-delete-WMInsite Blog, by Rita Katz, July 23, 2015:

A week after Chattanooga shooter Mohammad Abdulazeez’s attack, very little is known about his motives, path to radicalization, and network of affiliations. Immediately after the attack, Islamic State (IS) fighters and supporters hailed Abdulazeez as a “soldier of the Islamic State,” but no official messages from IS claiming the attack have yet been made. This silence is noteworthy considering the case of the shooting in Garland, Texas: Not only did IS fighter Junaid Hussain bluntly indicate his connection to this attack, but in less than two days, IS officially announced the shooters to be “two soldiers from the soldiers of the Caliphate.”

So why all the confusion surrounding Abdulazeez?

Because he was prepared. Abdulazeez did what jihadists are asked to do prior to execution of their attacks: delete important information that could provide insight into their networks. Jihadi recruiters often advise prospects to “delete your social network accounts or stay inactive,” as well as “all the nasheed [Islamic chants], videos, pictures, messages” prior to their attacks or migration to jihad.

For this reason, some have claimed that Abdulazeez didn’t maintain a high profile on social media. However, Abdulazeez maintained accounts on various social media sites, including at least two on Facebook as well as others on WordPress, Photobucket, Daily Motion, YouTube, and other platforms.

Abdulazeez’s social media information purge has proven effective. Despite all these accounts belonging to him, almost nothing is known about him. Thus far, we know almost exclusively what Abdulazeez wanted us to know.

A blog left behind by Abdulazeez illustrated his calculated social media presence. Just three days before the shooting, he posted two entries foreshadowing his coming attack, stating that “life is short and bitter” and that Muslims should not let “the opportunity to submit to allah…pass you by.”

One of his Facebook accounts, under the name, “Mohammed AbduAzeez,” was taken down—most likely by him to prevent investigators and others from learning about his social life and connections. The second Facebook account, though not taken down, showed no posts.

Small traces of information remaining on these pages may still provide some valuable insights into Abdulazeez’s interests, though. His second Facebook account showed only one friend: a user who also claimed to live in Chattanooga, have originated from Syria’s Daraa governorate, and worked for the pro-rebel activist news organization, Shaam News Network (SNN).

Still, finding online discussions by him or about him is a challenge. Even others who appear to have known him continue to remove comments from their social media accounts. The day after the shooting, Mazzen Haj Ali, an alleged Palestinian in Nablus and Facebook friend of Abdulazeez’s father, shared a news video about the shooting and added a short eulogy in Arabic:

May Allah have mercy on you and grant you paradise.

and may Allah not forgive anyone who talks badly about you…

Muhammed Youseff AbdulAzeed Haj Ali

b2ap3_medium_FB-postThe post was liked 49 times, with dozen users also giving well wishes to Abdulazeez. One user wrote: “Whoever will talk badly about him is a Jew,” while another, also from Nablus, wrote:

By Allah, O Mazen, I became one of those people; I am intending to be Da’ish [IS] for their presence. May Allah protect [conceal – cover] it, and Allah is Higher and knows best than all the people.

Notable is that the user, Mazzen Ali Haj, shares the same last name as Abdulazeez’s uncle, Asaad Ibrahim Abdulazeez Haj Ali, who hosted Abdulazeez on his last visit to Jordan. The uncle had been detained by Jordanian authorities amid investigations.

However, this post—the first of any significance that I was able to find by his family and/or associates—was deleted 17 hours after it was made. Thus, yet another set of potentially informative comments and likes disappeared, creating another empty space to the puzzle. 

Read more

Also see:

 

U.S.-Funded Free Syrian Army Unit Shows Off Its Kidnapping Skills in New Training Video

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 23, 2015:

A training video released today by Liwa Fursan al-Haqq (Knights of Justice Brigade) of the “vetted moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) opens with the group’s special forces practicing their abduction and kidnapping skills. And yet FSA units, funded, supported and armed by the U.S., have been repeatedly implicated in the abduction and kidnapping of U.S. citizens in Syria.

Here you can see them putting their U.S.-funded training to practice:

vlcsnap-2015-07-23-18h11m41s955

Also shown are critical military skills, such as standing on the back of a motorcycle while shooting two U.S.-funded AK-47s one-handed:

vlcsnap-2015-07-23-18h27m21s069-1024x576

Of course no jihadist training video would be complete without the requisite traversing of the monkey bars:

vlcsnap-2015-07-23-18h23m52s046-1024x576

Or the “Fiery Ring of Death”:

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Delta Force and the Navy SEALs have nothing on Liwa Fursan al-Haqq. Yet all three elite units are funded by U.S. taxpayer dollars!

You can watch the whole 10 minute video in all of its glory:

What makes the video of U.S.-funded FSA units being trained in kidnapping and abduction so important to note is that FSA units have repeatedly been implicated in the abduction of American citizens who were later traded to Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria, as well as the Islamic State.

That would include American journalist James Foley, beheaded by the Islamic State last year in its first such grisly video, who reportedly came into ISIS custody when the FSA-aligned Dawud Brigade that kidnapped and held Foley pledged allegiance to ISIS and delivered him to ISIS as a token of their submission.

That, however, is not the only such documented incident of FSA units abducting Americans.

In late October, American journalist Theo Padnos — who was captured by the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and then given over to Jabhat al-Nusra — told the story of his two-year captivity in the New York Times Magazine.

At one point, Padnos says he escaped from his Al-Qaeda captors and found himself back in the hands of the FSA, who then, again, promptly turned him back over to the terror group.

Padnos also relates this exchange with some U.S.-trained FSA fighters that exposes the glaring weaknesses of the CIA’s vetting system:

I returned to the FSA troops. One told me that his unit had recently traveled to Jordan to receive training from American forces in fighting groups like the Nusra Front.

“Really?” I said. “The Americans? I hope it was good training.”

“Certainly, very,” he replied.

The fighters stared at me. I stared at them.

After a few moments, I asked, “About this business of fighting Jebhat al Nusra?”

“Oh, that,” one said. “We lied to the Americans about that.”

An NBC News crew taken captive in Syria in December 2012, and who later repeatedly claimed they had been held by an Assad regime militia, later admitted – following a New York Times investigation – that they were in fact held by an FSA criminal network.

Also, there is evidence that NBC News executives knew from the time of the crew’s capture that they were held by U.S. allies, but allowed the blame to fall on Assad since that didn’t conflict with the Obama administration’s position at the time.

The chief Washington D.C. cheerleader for the Syrian rebels, Charles Lister of the Brookings Institution, happily announced the Liwa Fursan Al-Qaqq video release earlier today:

Lister tweet

As I noted back in April here at PJ Media, Lister finally admitted what he and most of the other Western supporters of the Syrian rebels have well known for a long time — that vast majority of Syrian rebel groups have been associated with Jabhat al-Nusra, a fact mostly concealed by the D.C. “smart set”:

This latter alliance with Jabhat al-Nusra has been a consistent facet of insurgent dynamics in Syria, but not only in terms of conservative Salafist groups like Ahrar al-Sham. In fact, while rarely acknowledged explicitly in public, the vast majority of the Syrian insurgency has coordinated closely with Al-Qaeda since mid-2012 – and to great effect on the battlefield. But while this pragmatic management of relationships may have secured opposition military victories against the regime, it has also come at an extraordinary cost. The assimilation of Al-Qaeda into the broader insurgency has discouraged the U.S. and its European allies from more definitively backing the ‘moderate’ opposition. That, by extension, has encouraged the intractability of the conflict we see today and the rise of jihadist factions like Jabhat al-Nusra, IS, and many others.

In fact, it was just a year ago yesterday that Liwa Fursan Al-Haqq announced they were separating from Jabhat al-Nusra. Nusra had been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. in December 2012.

As a result of that separation, that gave the U.S. the go-ahead to begin supplying them with heavy weaponry, such as TOW anti-tank missiles, which you can see them using in the video below:

So the next time that an American citizen finds himself kidnapped by a FSA unit, possibly ending up starring in the Islamic State’s latest beheading video, he can take comfort that his captors have received the best training and received the most advanced weaponry courtesy of his own country’s support.

Your U.S. taxpayer dollars hard at work!